“Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Eccl. 12:13).
There are over 300 references to the fear of the Lord in the Bible. The fear of the Lord motivates us to live the way we will wish we had lived when we stand before God at the judgment.
What we fear controls us to a certain extent. When we fear something or someone, that one has power over us—A wasp, spider, snake, heights, are all objects of fear. These things weld power over those that fear them. Show me what a man loves and what he fears and I’ll be able to tell you a lot about the character of that man.
Jesus said, “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both the soul and body in hell” (Mt. 10:28). It would be better to be “hell-scared” than “hell-scorched.”
On one American troopship, the soldiers crowded around their chaplain and asked, “Do you believe in hell?” The chaplain answered, “I do not.” Then the troops said, “Then please resign, for if there is no hell, we don’t need you, and if there is a hell, we don’t want to be lied to.”
Do you fear God? God asks, “If then I be a father, where is mine honour? And if I be a master, WHERE IS MY FEAR?” (Mal. 1:6)
Why did God create man when He foreknew man would bring sin into the world with all it’s awful ramifications? This is a question that atheists are made of. It has perplexed believers and unbelievers alike. There is no simple explanation, but in this study we will seek to gain some understanding into this great mystery.
The Problem of Man’s Fall (Why Did God Allow It?)
Brethren, pray for us. —1 Thessalonians 5:25
In 1854, the New Park Street Church called a 19 year old young man to be their pastor. That young man was Charles Haddon Spurgeon. The congregation was about 200 when he became their pastor. Within ten months they were forced to move out of their facility to accommodate the burgeoning crowds. During the entirety of his pastorate of 38 years, over 14,000 people were added to the church. Attendance averaged 5,000 every Sunday. His sermons were published each week in the London newspaper. It has been estimated that he preached to more than ten million people.
On one occasion, he was asked, “Mr. Spurgeon, what is your secret?” Without hesitation he answered, “My people pray for me.”
The best thing you can do for your preacher is PRAY FOR HIM every day. As the Apostle Paul requested prayer: “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified…” —2 Thessalonians 3:1
The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD. —Proverbs 19:3
No one had a better start than King Saul but his life was ruined because he left God out of his plans. He made many stupid decisions and suffered the consequences. Then he has the nerve to be angry with God. That is what the word “fretteth” means—Blaming God for the failures in life when it is really our fault.
Israel fretted against God for 40 years in the wilderness because of their unbelief, when they could have been enjoying “milk and honey” in the promised land.
I have met and know some people who are angry with God because they get lung cancer after they smoked cigarettes for many years. God never forced that cigarette in their hands. There are men who are angry with God because they got AIDS from having an illicit love affair. Their own behavior ruined their life and they cannot see it. I’ve seen parents become bitter with God because their children turn out to be hellions, when the real problem was poor parenting skills.
Don’t take your frustrations out on God when you reap the harvest of having your own way instead of going God’s way. You only have yourself to blame!
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities. —Romans 8:26
“I can’t think or pray or feel as I ought. What shall I do?” You never will be able to do or be perfectly as you wish you might while you are in the flesh. You are a child of Adam, and the best falls far short. How often have we resolved, yielded, committed, dedicated ourselves, and then felt how poorly we had done it! No one ever prayed a prayer or preached a sermon that completely satisfied him. We are not to look in that direction for satisfaction.
Paul says in Romans 8 that we do not even know what to pray for as we ought, let alone how to pray, but the Spirit makes up our lack. God knows the intent of the heart, however poorly the lips express it.
If you can’t pray like you want to, pray as you can. God knows what you mean. And you have good help – the Advocate who is God’s Son and the Comforter who is God’s Spirit. They will take your feeblest prayer and make it perfect.